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15 Things New Students Need To Know

Being a new student in a strange city at an unknown university is one of the most daunting experiences - whether you're undergrad or postgrad. We made a checklist that will help with your arrival and ensure a smooth start into the semester!

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1. Accommodation

If you’re one of the lucky few, you might have already found somewhere to sleep. Future residents in university accommodation should check here for detailed arrival information. If you haven’t found accommodation yet, don’t worry – many students are in the same situation! You can still look for spare rooms in university accommodation. If you’re more inclined towards a private flat or flatshare, head to Edinburgh Student Pad, gumtree, spareroom or Easyroommate. A good way to find likeminded flatmates might be a Facebook group as well. If you are likely to disagree with other people on cleanliness standards, maybe check Lettingweb for a studio. See our comprehensive guide to all things accommodation, here.

2. Welcome Week

Excited for Welcome Week? It's a jam-packed week full of events, crawls, parties, meet-ups, tasters, and information! Make sure not to miss it, it's a great opportunity to get to know the campus, meet new friends, join societies, and just have some plain fun! Don’t miss the university’s Welcome Ceremony for a fancy ‘Hello’. Check all the events here and download our app for up-to-date information on all happenings!

3. Be Healthy

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You should register with your nearest GP practice and a dentist as soon as you arrive to make sure you will be able to make an appointment when you need one. See our comprehensive guide for more information.

4. Money, money, money


If you haven't been blessed with a scholarship or generous parents, you might find yourself venturing out for a job. Don't worry, you'll find one! Your first stop should be the Career Hub where you can find a range of jobs. Check also our vacancy side - the Students' Association has plenty of jobs in their shops, bars, and offices! If you want to get away from uni, check job portals,, for example. The most effective, however, is often just walking around and asking in shops, cafes, and restaurants whether they need any help. Once you have a job, you might want to open a UK bank account. It helps with paying for accommodation, tuition fees and bills by direct debit. You will also be able to have income paid directly to your account. Opening an account is usually easy and fast for students, check here for more information.

5. All the Admin Stuff

First things first: You need to matriculate to call yourself a student. If you haven’t done so already, you should register online via your MyEd Student Personal Details channel. You should have gotten an email prompting you to do so. As soon as you arrive in Edinburgh, you need to confirm your attendance. That normally happens by contacting a member of staff or meeting with your Personal Tutor. The last step to matriculation is to pay your tuition fees. You need to pay your fees in full at matriculation or within 30 days of the invoice date. Often, you can pay fees in instalments, so you probably don’t have to pay everything right away. If a sponsor, your government, or another body is paying your fees, you need to show evidence of that to the Fees and Student Support team. Check here for more information. Once you're here, you should also collect your student card. A student ID is essential for studying at Edinburgh University. It will give you access to the main library, computer labs, reading rooms and other facilities outside of opening hours. If you haven’t done so already, apply for your student ID on MyEd by uploading a suitable photograph. You will then be able to pick your ID up at the beginning of term at the Main Library. Get all the information here.

6. Immunisations


Every first-time student should get the meningococcal ACWY immunisation before starting university. Particularly student are vulnerable to meningitis and septicaemia as they are in close contact with other people all the time. Both diseases can be potentially deadly, so make sure you’re safe!

7. Getting Around

Have you been wondering how people get around in Edinburgh? If you live close to campus, you can probably walk. If not, considering getting a bus pass or a bicycle. Lothian Busses offer reduced bus passes for students, and you can choose between a 9-month and 12-month ridacard. If you’re on the sporty side, find cheap second-hand bikes here. Edinburgh has some bike paths and quieter streets, however, be vigilant and wear bright clothing and a helmet to avoid injuries.

8. Edinburgh University Students’ Association


Your Edinburgh University Students’ Association is here to represent your views as a student and help you with anything you might need. Visit our website, follow us on social media and download our app to find out more about our services and offers. Check out the Students' Association's building Teviot Row House with more bars than you can drink in! If you have any questions, feel free to pop into our office in Potterow, and we will try our best to help you.

9. Police Registration


If you are an international student, you might have to register with the police. You can register right here on campus in September and October, so you don’t have to go to any police station. Find out which documents you need to register here.

10. Path


Philosophy of the Scottish Enlightenment, Theories of International Relations, Gender and Sexuality in Early Modern Europe - you must be both thrilled and intimated by the selection of optional courses! Gain an overview with Path, on MyEd that allows you to build a potential timetable and select optional courses!

11. Get Connected, Stay Connected


Whether you need to find a building, want to get a head start on your readings, or just want to netflix a bit, we’re sure you can’t wait to get wifi. Activate your wireless connection through eduroam on all your devices by simply using your Office 365 login details. Full information here.

13. Clubs and Societies

Andrew Perry

You might feel a bit homesick and lost in Edinburgh first. A great way to find new friends is to join societies. Whether you’re a Harry Potter buff, a fierce debater, a lover of pole dancing, or a coffee enthusiast, we have over 240 clubs and societies for you to choose from. Don’t miss the Activities Fair during Welcome Week for some face-to-face time with the societies!

14. Get Oriented


The campus might seem a bit overwhelming at the beginning. Find your way around with these maps and download them for offline use at your convenience. You can also pick up a hard copy at the Visitor Centre. If you prefer learning by doing, join one of the campus tours during Welcome Week.

15. Have fun!

Andrew Perry

Finally, just enjoy Edinburgh before all the university craziness starts! Learn here what makes Edinburgh so special, drink some whiskey, go to a Ceilidh, learn Quidditch, join a Welcome Week coffee crawl, visit Edinburgh’s most beautiful sights, just take it all in!

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